“What? Could it be that this place has sacred areas with dense spirit Qi?” Han Li asked with roused spirits.
“Hehe, there are several of these cultivation sites throughout the city. But we only have one that is equivalent to those found in the three sovereign’s main cities. But what is important is that not only do we have a stream of materials from the lands of humans and demons, but the city is also the sole entrance between those lands and the wilderness. As a result, there are countless rare treasures that are brought back from the wilderness. A vast majority of cultivators sell or exchange these materials. Even medicines that allow for advancement over a single night are on the market. However, their price makes them something that could only be looked at.”
The old man briefly paused before adding, “There is also another reason why the cultivators of this city aren’t willing to leave it. Every ten years, the Deep Heaven City cultivators listen to someone from the council of elders explain the worldly Dao. It can answer some doubts about cultivation. And all of the elders are at Integration stage cultivation. Nobody else has the same opportunities we do. Hehe, that is why those that join the city don’t often wish to leave.”
“Those benefits!” Han Li felt joy at the explanation, but he soon frowned and asked, “But why are there so many high-grade cultivators guarding the city?”
“In addition to human cultivators, there are also large quantities of demon cultivators that guard the city. They occupy the other half of the city. And apart from that, there are large quantities of demon beasts and body refiners. Half of those low-grade existences originated from the city, while the other half comes from the outside. Our council of elders consists of over ten Integration-stage cultivators. With such astonishing might, the city has naturally become a target of the wilderness’ outer tribes and true spirit level existences. The elders have arranged and extremely powerful and profound Immortal formation forcing successive generations of outer invasions to first go through the city. If so much power wasn’t garrisoned here, the outer tribes would exterminate us. I heard that if we were to truly fight with the outer tribes, most of the city would be eradicated.” Old Man Liu wore a solemn expression.
When Han Li heard this, his expression faintly changed. “More than half eradicated?”
“There is no need for Brother Han to be so worried. An outer tribe invades us once anywhere from sixty thousand years at the earliest, to a hundred thousand years at the latest. Against such a long period, there is no need for you to be worried. If there is truly an invasion, then you’d be out of luck and could only fight to the death. As for anybody that flees that Deep Heaven City’s guard, they will be jointly pursued by both demons and humans. Since there is a smooth life in the city, it is natural to have a bit of danger with it. However, the last invasion of Deep Heaven City took place thirty thousand years ago. We will have another twenty thousand years before we have to worry about anything.
“So it was like that. In that case, I was brought here to Deep Heaven City so I could be profited from.” Han Li stroked his chin with a pensive expression.
“Of course. Initial generation ascended have far higher odds of entering Spatial Tempering than natives and descendants like me. Each ascended cultivator is viewed with great importance by the elders and aren’t easily let go. Furthermore, over the past few years, there have been fewer ascended cultivators appearing at the Spirit Flight Tower. I heard several of the elders send spiritual sense threads down to the lower realms to investigate the matter, but they hadn’t succeeded. Since Brother Han came from a lower realm, did you notice anything strange?”
When Han Li heard this, he suddenly recalled the matter with the Elder Devil and felt his heart tremble, but he maintained a normal expression and answered, “Nothing. My world was quite normal.”
“That is a pity. If Brother Han was able to come up with a reason, he would be heavily rewarded. However, of the cultivators that ascended recently, they also had no clues. I only heard in recent years that the demon clans discovered something. As a result, the elder council shouldn’t interrogate you much over the matter.”
Han Li smiled and then asked, “Ah yes, Brother Liu mentioned something about the Dark Azure Guards. Could you tell me something about them? Are they the ones I saw wearing azure armor?”
“That’s right. Dark Azure Guards are a mid-grade existence in our city, and I am one of them. They command ten black-armored guards. Dark Azure Guards require Deity Transformation-stage cultivation, but not all Deity Transformation-stage cultivators are Dark Azure Guards. Brother Han should realize the difference.”
“I have an idea. They either lack leadership or aren’t skilled in battle, I think.”
“That is correct. Now that we’re on the topic, there are two types of Deep Heaven City guards. There are those that appointed missions on a fixed schedule and may make arrangements for themselves during other times. But these guards aren’t given many spirit stones during their ten-year tenure and are often found wanting more, but there is very little danger.
The other kind undergo missions that are assigned by the council of elders. Each finished mission will give good benefits. Not only spirit stones but treasures, medicine, and other treasures are rewarded. Of course, these missions are far more dangerous, and most often relate to outer tribes in the wilderness. One must make careful consideration before agreeing. However, after each completed mission you don’t need to take another assignment anywhere from decades to a century. You’ll be able to peacefully cultivate for longer periods of time. Of course, the two posts aren’t rigid and you can change your posts as you wish. ”
“Many thanks for Brother Liu’s pointers.” Han Li said with a calm expression.
The old man chuckled and waved his hand. Then they chatted for a while more before the old man stood up and departed.
After the old man left, Han Li’s smile faded and he walked into the secluded room and medicated in silence.
As for the dark-skinned old man, he returned to where the other Deity Transformation cultivators were chatting.
When they saw the old man, they all walked over to him.
“Did Brother Lu acquire any information from him?”
“Information? That man is tight-lipped. Apart from acknowledging he is someone who ascended from a lower realm, he said nothing else. I only answered a few of his questions.” The old man shook his head with a helpless expression.
“Hehe, it is only natural for him to be cautious when Brother Liu came knocking on his door. He only just arrived in the spirit realm. However, we don’t have any intentions other than befriend him. After all, the ascended have high potential...”
The Deity Transformation-stage cultivators continued to chat pleasantly as if they had no evil intentions towards Han Li. As for Old Man Liu, he simply smiled in silence.
On the morning of the next day, Han Li sat motionlessly in the secluded room before suddenly opening his eyes.
He then walked out into the living room and used his command medallion to open the main door.
There was a white-clothed cultivator standing there with a blank expression.
“Greetings Senior!” Han Li didn’t dare to neglect him and saluted him with both hands.
This was the pale-faced man in golden armor from before, but now he exchanged the armor for Confucian robes. The harsh aura from his body had eased and he gave a more humble impression.
“Fellow Daoist Han, there is no need to be so polite. I’ve only just arrived. Since Brother Li is busy with other matters, I will be the only one to see you today. My name is Zhao Wugui.” The Spatial Tempering cultivator appeared to be far friendlier than the day before.
Surprised, Han Li hastily addressed him as “Senior Zhao.” He then invited him into the room and gave him the main seat in the living room.
As soon as Zhao Wugui took a seat, he offered Han Li an azure jade pendant, “Since you’ve been here for half a day, you must have questions. I’ll keep the long story short. As an ascended cultivator and someone who was able to persist against two-colored tribulation for so long, you must possess powerful abilities. As such, I’ve already had you apply for the position of a Dark Azure Guard. This is your identity token. Keep it well. When the time comes, you’ll take over third squad fifty-six. They are the small group of four you saw at the teleportation hall the day before.”
Han Li didn’t immediately reach out for it and hesitantly said, “As someone who's just arrived, there is much I don’t understand. Isn’t it a bit rash for me to suddenly be appointed to that position?”
Zhao Wugui chuckled, “Fellow Daoist Han doesn’t need to be so modest. Every ascended cultivator is appointed a Deep Azure Guard when they come to the city. They are mostly all extremely competent. As for your understanding of the city, you will know everything about it after living here for a year.”
Han Li’s eye stirred and he eventually took the jade pendant. “In that case, I won’t decline it.”
Under close examination, he noticed silver rune patterns inscribed on it. It also had the golden characters “third squad fifty-six”
When Han Li took the jade pendant, Zhao Wugui nodded with satisfaction. Afterwards, he began to explain some of the general knowledge regarding the city. Some of it had been mentioned by Old Man Liu the day before, and some of it was new. It was very useful, of course.
Zhao Wugui took out a white jade slip from his storage pouch and handed it over to Han Li, “Alright, I’ve said enough. This is only a place where ascended cultivators are kept temporarily. It isn’t appropriate for long term use. All cultivators at Nascent Soul-stage and above are given their own residence in Deep Heaven City. However, you’ll have to strive for the better ones. You know more when you make arrangements at the Jade Fault Pavilion. This is a map of the city. Take a good look at it. For the first month you come to the city, there is no need for you to immediately take an assignment. But in a month, you will be assigned a set of Deep Azure Armor.” Then he bid farewell.
Han Li respectfully thanked him and walked him out.